How to Use Data to Personalize Your Advertising and Refine Your Target Audience

March 23, 2018 Callum Mundine

As the digital age continues to evolve, it also continues to reshape the business landscape. Those who can adapt to the times will likely survive. Those who don’t will be left behind. The competition is so tough these days that 52% of Fortune 500 companies have started to disappear in the last few years. Retail bankruptcies have also increased by 24% in just a year. To stay afloat in such a cut-throat industry, marketers need to keep audiences engaged by personalizing their advertising campaigns.

What is Personalization?

In business, personalization means tailoring content according to a potential customer’s preferences. Whether you are part of a large corporation or a small venture, personalization should be prioritized as it drives sales and helps you better understand potential and current clients.

Why do you need it?

Take it from the world’s top brands such as Netflix and Amazon. Meeting their audience’s demands produces higher conversion rates and increases customer loyalty. These businesses tailor their advertising campaigns to consumers’ preferences by analyzing big data and then coming up with the most effective approaches to reach target audiences. About 60% of Netflix rentals are a result of the personalized messages they send out based on subscribers’ viewing history. Meanwhile, product recommendations based on customers’ unique purchases or behavior can be attributed to 35% of Amazon’s sales.

Isn’t that inspiring? Here are a few methods you can use to kick-start your marketing campaign and reach target audiences through a personalized approach:

Personalizing with Behavioral Data

Personalized content is fundamental to attracting lifelong patrons. You can easily drive potential clients or current ones away by recommending or sending them content that they do not fancy. In fact, 74% of customers get frustrated when they receive marketing content that doesn’t suit their preference. So, what can you do with behavioral data to personalize your marketing campaign?

Email marketing campaigns

Big data can be so overwhelming. Know that you can always opt to focus on individual visitors rather than larger demographics. When visitors browse through your website, they will leave a slight trail that will tell you where they’ve been and what they’ve looked at. By looking at the products or categories that potential clients examine, you get to understand their preferences and their habits. 

When it comes to email personalization, you can pick contact names, account history data, as well as search history data from your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. 

For B2C marketers, a multi-channel behavioral marketing platform should work wonders. They typically offer automated email marketing campaigns that send personalized messages based on the consumers’ past as well as current brand interactions. Marketers can also send follow-up emails based on the products or categories that consumers looked at before abandoning entirely.

Yesmail found that personalized emails produce twice more than the average open rate, three times more than the average click-to-open rate, and more than six times the average click rate. In a nutshell, personalized content leads to higher customer engagement, better lead quality, and higher conversion rates.

Product recommendations

When you want consumers to know that your brand still has so much more to offer than the products they have seen, you can use behavioral data to show clients a variety of product combinations. Though product recommendations rely heavily on behavioral data, they also utilize artificial intelligence to generate correlations that marketers might fail to see.

Personalizing with Technographics

Being able to speak to a person’s experience is one of the keys to successful personalization. In B2B advertising, leveraging technographic data allows you to do just that on a company level. Technographics tell you the software choices a company has made, allowing you to use that valuable information to personalize advertising as well as other marketing and sales conversations to people within that company. For instance, if you have a product that integrates well with Hubspot, you may mention that in your advertisement. Not only will this make your ad that much more relevant, but it will also increase the likelihood that someone will engage with your ad. This also works well for competitive advertising. If you know a company  uses one of your competitor’s products, you can serve ads specifically speaking to the benefits of your products verses the competitor’s products.

Targeting Audiences with IP Address Data

Did you know that you can use Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to personalize your website for almost every visitor? IP location data can help you create a unique experience for every single one of your visitors. By personalizing your page, you can also easily direct customers to the content they need.

Location targeting

Much like how McDonald’s adjusts their menu according to local tastes or religious beliefs, your online platform should also cater to all types of visitors. You can adjust what someone sees on your website by personalizing the content based on IP addresses. Someone from New York, for example, will be able to see different products and testimonials than someone who lives in Los Angeles when you customize the website experience.

For B2B marketers, you can start by dividing your customer base into categories. Industry, size, revenue, and location are some examples of the groups you can establish. Next, you will have to determine the needs and preferences of each cluster at every stage of the buying cycle. Finally, come up with the appropriate content that meets the needs of each group.

IP targeting tools like GeoFli make the job so much easier. To personalize content, the tool will allow you to draw a custom parameter and assign tailored content to that specific location. These third-party applications can narrow down your target locations to states, cities, and even college campuses. When visitors like what they see, they tend to spend more time on your site. Bounce rate decreases while conversion rates go up.

Social media advertising

With the help of Google Analytics and a geo-targeting app, you can ensure that social media users are seeing the exact message you want to convey. Through simple A/B testing, you can refine the content based on where audiences are from. Audiences should be able to see your message until they leave the site. 

Data will tell you which products are most popular in what areas. When you personalize social media ads, you choose to only promote products that are of interest to a specific audience. If they are interested, they will click the ad, which will then lead back to your website. There, they will find relevant testimonials, products that are most popular in the area, or perhaps a sales representative from their own hometown.

Search engine advertising

Have you ever noticed those ads that pop up at the top portion of the search engine results page? Well, if you haven’t, do a quick Google search and see what appears. The ads are designed to look like organic search results but they really aren’t. 

Based on a survey conducted by Monetate, this is how most marketers are using their data to create personalized ads. 

Getting Creative

There are so many online tools that can help marketers analyze big data. This convenience, however, has become more of a double-edged sword. Since it has become so easy to analyze data, marketers often tend to leave it all to some machine to crunch up the numbers and come up with viable solutions and strategies. Unfortunately, machines can’t generate insights like people can. 

At the Ad Age IQ Conference last year, TBWA Global Data Director Baker Lambert emphasized that data does not just provide the answers to the specific challenges that brands are facing, but can also be a source of creativity. The global marketing group TBWA has used big data to come up with new ways of telling a brand’s story. It has also led them to new tools and mediums for telling those stories.

Lambert told audiences that marketers must also learn to think outside the box. Come up with questions before finding the data, and not the other way around.

“You can spend a lot of time data mining and not getting anywhere,” Lambert stated. “But if you know what you want to discover, trust me, you can find that data. It’s out there.”

We generate such a massive amount of data every minute. As of 2017, the Internet’s 3.8 billion users watched 4,146,600 videos per minute. Meanwhile, Facebook users posted 510,000 comments, 293,000 status updates, and 136,000 photos every minute. There is a ton of data to gather, and so much potential to innovate. Listen to TBWA’s Baker Lambert. Use tools to analyze data, and don’t be afraid to come up with your own strategies.

Featured Image Source: Man holding smart phone making online shopping and banking payment. Blurred background by Jamesteohart Shutterstock 

About the Author

Callum Mundine is part of the marketing team at One Egg. He is an Amazon marketplace & white hat link building specialist, and has launched multiple successful brands on Amazon.com. Callum like his eggs boiled.

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